- New research finds that older people are more likely to do things that benefit others
- Including social distancing and donating during the covid pandemic
- Younger people were more likely to donate to international charities than older people
- Women were found to be kinder than men, and the wealthy gave less to charity
New research suggests that older people are more likely than younger people to do things that benefit others, such as social distancing and making charitable donations during the COVID pandemic.
Women in general were found to be kinder than men, while wealth had a negative effect on philanthropy, with those who considered themselves better off donating less to good causes.
According to the researchers, there is also a large division in the types of donations age groups prefer to help.
Young people are more likely to donate to international charities, while older adults prefer to give to causes within their own country.
Older people are more likely to do things that benefit others, such as social distancing and making charitable donations during the COVID pandemic, new research suggests (stock image)
People really want to be kind to each other, even if it costs them anything
People really want to be kind to each other.
The researchers found that people like to be generous to others, even when it is at the expense of themselves and regardless of external motives.
The study, conducted online, asked participants to give money to other people, which the team assumed would lead to subjects expecting something in return for their generosity.
However, the experiment showed that volunteers were willing to give cash to strangers without any motivation behind it – only the notion of helping the person.
Read more: People want to be kind to each other, even if it costs them, says study
The study, which was led by the University of Birmingham, saw experts analyze data from a global survey of 46,576 people aged 18 to 99 in 67 countries.
This was done between April and May 2020 and was used to test whether age could predict how much social distancing a person was willing to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as hypothetical He also had a desire to donate to charity.
The authors found that age predicted compassionate behavior on both measures, with increased distance and levels of charity among older adults compared to their younger counterparts.
The authors, led by Dr Joe Cutler, wrote in their paper, ‘Older age was associated with greater social behavior on two robust, complementary and acutely relevant measures.
‘However, age was also associated with greater in-group focus, which receives help. Older adults donated less to national, but international, fictitious charities than younger adults.’
He said: ‘The serious risk to older adults from COVID-19 may have prevented individual prosocial behavior such as volunteering.
‘However, older adults were particularly willing to help others during the global crisis in terms of compliance with public health measures and support for charities working in their country.’
The researchers said the perceived risk was not significantly associated with social distancing.
Nor did the severity of COVID-19 in any particular country change the fact that older people were more willing to adhere to public health measures than their younger counterparts.
Young people are more likely to donate to international charities, while older adults prefer to give to causes within their country (stock image)
Meanwhile, those surveyed were found to give twice as much to national charities as international non-profit organizations, and the willingness to do so increased with age.
For every 16 years of age, donations increased by 1.5 percent, the researchers said.
He wrote, ‘Surprisingly, subjective wealth had a negative effect: those who considered themselves wealthy gave less charity.
The authors said they expect their study to have important implications for increasing compliance with public health measures, as well as for predicting the social and economic impacts of an aging population.
They concluded, ‘Our findings have important implications for predicting the social and economic impacts of an aging population, increasing compliance with public health measures and encouraging charitable donations.
The research has been published in the journal Nature Aging.